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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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My First SFG Toplef10My First SFG 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

My First SFG I22gcj10My First SFG 14dhcg10

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My First SFG

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My First SFG Empty My First SFG

Post  Leafhaus 4/4/2011, 1:33 am

This will be my first time growing anything. I am very interested in
sustainable agriculture and organic growing and would like to do a 4x4
SFG without the use of any chemicals. That may be a bit ambitious for a
first time gardener but we'll see how it turns out.

For reference I am located in the suburbs of Chicago. I am thinking of setting up my garden like so:

Tomato Tomato Tomato Asparagus
Bell Peppers Hot Peppers Hot Peppers Hot Peppers
Cucumber Strawberry Strawberry Strawberry
Cucumber Cucumber Beans Beans

I have just started work on clearing the plot so I probably won't be able
to plant for another week or two if that makes a difference.
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Leafhaus

Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-04-04
Location : Chicago, IL

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Post  middlemamma 4/4/2011, 1:36 am

quiltbea wrote:If the top row is on the northermost side, I would plan mine this way:

tomato tomato cuke cuke (trellised, staked or caged)
peppers all across (they like to rub shoulders)
bush beans and maybe other shorter crops like turnip, carrots, leeks,
strawberries across the whole row.

Tall vining crops need to be staked, trellised or caged in the north row so they don't shade the other crops with their size.
Peppers can also grow quite tall but not as tall as toms and cukes.
bush beans are shorter and other shorter crops in this row would work.
Strawberries you'll need to keep in one area for at least 3 years so I'd put them all in the front row to manage easier.

Forget
the asparagus. One square won't work. They are a perennial that needs
to stay in one place for the next 15-20 years. One square won't work.
The ferns grow extemely large and wide. Personally, I wouldn't put
more than one asparagus crown in a foot square tho I know some are
trying 4.

That's what I'd do with what you've given me as crops.

Good luck with your SFG. You'll be hooked once you start.
middlemamma
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Post  middlemamma 4/4/2011, 1:36 am

Sorry this got goofed...you should be good to go from here on out!

Jennie
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middlemamma
middlemamma
 
 

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Post  Leafhaus 4/4/2011, 1:42 am

It's cool I understand. Thanks for fixing it!
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Leafhaus

Posts : 6
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Location : Chicago, IL

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 4/4/2011, 10:27 am

Leafhaus wrote:This will be my first time growing anything. I am very interested in
sustainable agriculture and organic growing and would like to do a 4x4
SFG without the use of any chemicals. That may be a bit ambitious for a
first time gardener but we'll see how it turns out.

I don't think it's too ambitous at all. There's a learning curve, sure. But, you'll get the hang of it. The SFG system lends itself to simplicity. Without any previous gardening experience, you have no "bad habits" to transition away from....only serving to cut down your learning curve here.

Any question you have should be asked here or looked up in the book at the top of the page. Mel has a way of explaining things I certainly can't. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, do so soon. It will be the fastest teaching tool you have.

Leafhaus wrote:For reference I am located in the suburbs of Chicago.....
I have just started work on clearing the plot so I probably won't be able
to plant for another week or two if that makes a difference.

I would recommend you get to know the dates of your last freeze and frosts, as well as, the first frost and freezes in fall. O'Hare Airport lists these as your 50/50 dates (50/50 chance of frost/freeze after the spring dates and before the fall dates.)

Spring last freeze (28*) - Apr 12
Spring last frost (32*) - Apr 25
Fall first frost (32*) - Oct 13
Fall first freeze (28*) - Oct 26

Everything you plant will revolve around these dates. If you need clarification, feel free to ask us here. But as a quick example, tomatoes are tender and sensitive to frosts. Don't put them out before your last frost date of Apr 25...at the earliest. I, personally, tend to wait another two weeks beyond my frost date.

There are a lot of other resources here on the forums at your disposal. Take your time in getting acclimated. Click on everything as you familiarize yourself here. I hope to see you get active as spring nears and you become more comfortable. The people here are so willing to help. Welcome aboard!
BackyardBirdGardner
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Age : 49
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Post  Leafhaus 4/4/2011, 9:39 pm

I did check out the freeze chart on the mainpage here but didn't quite understand it. I'm really glad that a community like this exists online. I'll keep you guys updated on my progress so you can see that your sage advice will not have been handed down in vain!
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Leafhaus

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Location : Chicago, IL

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